Latest Galaxy S8 rumor: all screen, no more home button

samsung_galaxy_s7_home_button_close_TA

Samsung’s iconic home button on their devices has been a point of contention for years. Some customers love it and won’t use anything else, while other Android purists hate the idea of physical buttons instead of Google’s vision of on-screen keys. 2017 might be the year that Samsung puts the physical home button on the chopping block, if the latest batch of rumors ends up being true.

Conversational Actions for Google Assistant are now live for third-party services

google_pixel_quite_black_google_assistant_open_ta

It doesn’t matter what kind of platform you’re talking about, pretty much any developer ecosystem is DOA without third-party support. Android needs developers on the Play Store to thrive, just as much as Microsoft needs developers making games for the Xbox brand to survive. The next platform for Android is in the form of Google Assistant, and just like all its competitors, Assistant will only succeed if other developers board the ship.

Samsung debuts the 128GB Black Pearl Galaxy S7 Edge

galaxy-s7-edge-black-pearl

After the Note 7 made an explosive exit from the market, Samsung has been bolstering its Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge phones with more marketing and more color variants. We’ve seen both devices get post-launch support with a pink gold version and a slick Coral Blue that was originally exclusive to the Note 7, and now Samsung is dropping a glossy Black Pearl variant of the S7 Edge right before the holidays.

You can take a VR tour of New York’s department stores thanks to Google

google-window-wonderland

If you’ve ever wanted to see New York’s fancy department store windows without having to shell out the cash to get there (and deal with the insane crowds this time of year), Google has your back. Their latest VR endeavor puts you right in front of several New York department stores, complete with a high-resolution virtual reality panorama and the sounds of a bustling city street around you.

Pebble officially leaves the smartwatch market after Fitbit acquisition

pebble 4.0

Pebble was a pioneer in the smartwatch market, thriving off of Kickstarter success and a brand new device category. The original Pebble had its shortcomings, but it was one of the first actual smartwatches you could buy, and it wasn’t crazy expensive.

The Pebble Time refined the watch by giving it a sleeker design and a colorful e-ink screen, which I personally liked enough to use every day for the past.

Samsung is releasing custom watch bands exclusively for the Gear S3

gear-s3-watch-bands

When talking about smartwatches, it’s easy to forget that they’re more than just extensions of a smartphone. They offer a ton of useful electronic functionality, but they’re still watches, and watches are fashion accessories. Samsung is taking advantage of that fact and releasing a handful of new bands for their Gear S3 to mix and match any kind of fashion.

Trusted Contacts is a new Google app to keep track of friends and family

google_trusted_contacts_request_and_share

Google has launched a brand new app called Trusted Contacts that wants to bring a little extra peace of mind to anyone that frequently travels alone, at night, or in any other less than 100% safe situation.

The concept of the app is pretty simple; you pick a few favorite, trusted contacts, and the app shares your location with them and keeps them updated until you’ve made it home or to your car.